A 59-year-old man who was a vice president at Bank of America in Newark has been arrested for allegedly attempting to entice a minor for sexual acts.
Kirk A. Simmons, of Newark, was charged Aug. 28 with attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, according to Charles M. Oberly III, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware.
This federal criminal charge resulted from an online sting operation conducted in June and July by an undercover Delaware State Police detective posing as a father who posted an online advertisement seeking other men to join him for sex with his 13-year-old daughter.
At the time of the sting operation, Simmons was employed as a vice president and market information manager at Bank of America's Newark facility. Bank of America terminated Simmons's employment following notification of his alleged conduct, Oberly said.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Simmons also currently works as a "Professional private tutor" through WyzAnt Tutoring, "providing private in-home tutoring at the high school and college levels."
If convicted of the charges, Simmons faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least five years to life following his prison sentence. If convicted, he also will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he resides, works or attends school.
Simmons began his online relationship with the undercover "father" in June, when Simmons responded to a "personals" advertisement for "fam love/taboo" on an adult social networking website. Through online chats, Simmons indicated and graphically described that he wanted to engage in sexual activity with the purported "father" and his child. After a number of online conversations, the "father" agreed to bring his "13-year-old daughter" to a Newark hotel on July 18, where Simmons would meet them for sexual activity.
Simmons was arrested by the Delaware State Police Child Predator Task Force on July 18, after he arrived at the Newark hotel. Shortly before that meeting, Simmons was under surveillance by State Police and was observed driving directly from his workplace to the hotel.
In a recorded interview with a State Police detective, Simmons admitted that he intended to engage in sexual activity with the fictitious "father" and "13-year-old daughter" at the hotel. Simmons also admitted that he brought a digital camera with him to photograph the sexual activity, Oberly said.
Simmons was released from state custody after posting bail on a state charge of third degree attempted rape of a minor. The Delaware Child Predator Task Force then referred the case to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney's Office for possible federal prosecution. The state charge remains pending.
Page 2 of 2 - Simmons will remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Sept. 3. At that hearing, the court will determine whether to detain Simmons or to release him on bail conditions pending trial.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's tip line at (302) 428-0104, ext. 3.